Our congregation is preparing to search for and (the Lord willing) call a co-pastor. As I prepared for the service in which the team would be commissioned, I did not find any commissioning litanies that fit our situation. So I wrote one. I thought it might be helpful if I posted it here. Feel free to use it, amend it, and tailor it to your situation.
Search Team Commissioning Litany
We are about to commission a pastoral search team to search for and recommend a co-pastor for xxxxx Church. You have a unique role and a task that requires teamwork. It requires you to spend time in prayer and listening for God’s direction.
As the Old Testament prophet Samuel learned:
The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
I Samuel 16:7b (NIV)
Seek God’s guidance in prayer and rely on the Holy Spirit for discernment.
(Invite the team forward)
Names, you stand among us to render a particular service, you are a gift from God to serve xxxxx Church in this task.
For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.
We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Romans 12:4–8 (NIV)
Do you accept this ministry as a Pastoral Search Team as a responsibility before God?
Will you be diligent in your study of Scripture, faithful in your use of the means of grace, and constant in prayer?
Will you trust in God’s care, strive not just for good results, but also for a good process, upholding the unity, purity, and peace of the church?
We do, God helping us.
Dear people of God, will you receive these people as servants of the Lord? Will you encourage them, pray for them, and support them in this task?
All: We will, God helping us.
Names, you are charged with searching for someone called by God for the role of co-pastor here at xxxxx Church.
All: Go and work well together.
Go and work with diligence and integrity.
Go for the sake of the gospel and the Church of Jesus Christ.
Go with the prayers and support of Crosspoint’s congregation.
All: Listen well.
Listen well to the needs and concerns of our neighbourhood. Listen well to the xxxxx congregation. Listen well to those you interview. Listen well to each other. Listen well to God’s Word and Spirit.
We anticipate ups and downs on your quest. We do not know how long it will take.
All: Do not get discouraged!
If God has a plan to send a co-pastor to serve at xxxxx Church, the Lord will bring that person here at exactly the right time.